Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Motivation | Operate at the highest level of intensity to reach your goals

After stepping onto the treadmill, my trainer than advised me that we would be doing a series of interval running exercises.  Basically, he started me off on a light jog for a couple of minutes, then, he cranked up the speed until I was running at my maximum level.  After about a minute, he once again dropped the speed to allow me to return the jog, then again, he repeated the cycle.

"High intensity interval training," he explained, "is highly effective for burning calories and building cardiovascular strength. It's one of the best forms of fat burning exercise you can do."  For most of us who work out, burning fat is a big part of the end goal.  Training that involves increasing the intensity of activity (going all out), even for short bursts of time, gives us the results we want.

Then I got to thinking.  What if operating with the highest level of intensity possible,  for short periods of time, could help us reach our personal goals?

Let's talk about intensity and what it means.  Intensity, to me means, full power.  It's going all in, leaving nothing the table.  You're giving 100% of what you are capable of. 
in·tense
inˈtens/
adjective
  1. 1.
    of extreme force, degree, or strength.
    "the job demands intense concentration"

I wouldn't use the word intensity to describe my current approach to goal achievement.  I'm more of a slow and steady person.  There's nothing wrong with that. Unless, I wanted to experience results much, much, sooner.  What if, instead of taking a few, small actions a day, I operated in short bursts of focused high intensity?

Just like in fitness, my "success muscles" would strengthen.  I'd eventually become accustomed to operating at a high level.  Soon, even my low intensity threshold would rise.  Let's say one of my goals is to start a new business. Instead of piddling around and inching towards my goal, I'd set a timer and dedicate 30, 60 or 90 minutes to getting as much accomplished as possible.  When I finished, I'd take a break & do other stuff. Then I set aside another chunk of time to go all out.  High intensity could also mean increasing the amount of output you are currently producing.  For example, if you now invest $100 a month to market your business, changing the budget to $500 is increasing the intensity. 

Another approach is to set aside a week of intensity a la the 7 day challenge.  Give yourself a week to accomplish something great like writing your book, launching your site or producing a prototype for your product.  Work at full speed to ensure your goal is accomplished in 7 days.  Aim for completion, not perfection.  Perfection slows you down.  Intensity propels you forward.  

With high intensity training, you're not expected to run at full speed the entire time.  You're supposed to slow down and regain strength to do it all over again.  Keep in mind, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SLOW DOWN DURING THE 'REST PERIOD,  NOT STOP!

Take a moment to reflect on your goals. Are you operating at high intensity, low intensity or have you stopped?

  1. Perfection slows you down ;intensity propels you forward. Best "quote" i've come across in months. Keep being motivated, and as well motivating some of us! Thanks for this.

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  2. I also wrote that quote down. Perfection slows you down. Intensity propels you forward. I focus on things being so perfect at times that it hinders my relationships and contributes to my procrastination. Then, I let days, weeks, months and even years go by mulling the same thing over and over in my head but never putting it into action. Thanks for this article. Going to intensify my finances and career switch.

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